On July 3, Ilisa Diamond was in Boynton Beach on vacation and heading to a diner for breakfast when her husband spotted the pit bull locked in a Buick with the windows rolled up as temperatures climbed.
"It was extremely hot, extremely humid down there," Diamond told InsideEdition.com. "You can't even imagine the heat. It was absolutely surreal."
She called the police, who responded with Animal Control to save the male pup.
“It was easily 110 degrees inside that car — if not more," the Boynton Beach Police Department said in a statement posted to Facebook.
While another officer went into nearby stores to find the owner of the dog, Sgt. John Dunlop used his baton to break the rear window on the passenger side of the vehicle as Diamond recorded the rescue on her cell phone.
"He was just sitting there," Diamond said about the dog. "He was almost oddly calm."
After he was able to unlock the back door, Animal Control provided water for the hound and he was removed from the car with his tail between his legs.
"What was most shocking on this was the extreme heat we were experiencing and the windows were not even cracked," Boynton Beach Animal Control Officer Liz Roerich told InsideEdition.com.
Roerich added that the dog's chest cavity was expanding rapidly and he was extremely overheated.
"When [a dog's] body temperature starts to rise and it gets to a certain level, it quickly turns from 'boy their panting heavy' to in-distress," she said. "We're not gonna sit there and watch a dog get to that point."
The owner, who lives about 12 blocks away from the parking lot, came back to her car and told the police she ran into Bank of America because the drive-thru was closed.
Roerich told the owner about Palm Beach County Ordinance 98-22, Section 24 — leaving a dog in a car unattended — before returning her pet.
"All people should just put themselves in the animal's shoes," she said. I don't know anybody in their right mind that is going to sit in their vehicle in South Florida in July, windows up and just sit there."
Roerich said they often receive calls of animals being reported in hot cars, sometimes as many as three or four a day.
She said that whether the temperature is 40 degrees or 90, it's an ordinance violation if a dog is in a vehicle alone — even the air conditioner is on and there's water in the car.
"They just don’t understand what those few minutes can do to their pets' health and that was the case here," she said.
Boynton Beach Police Department posted the rescue and provided information to the public to remind the community of the law in Palm Beach County.
"It is never OK to leave your pet in an unattended vehicle," the post read. "It is illegal and if you do it in the City of Boynton Beach, you are going to be cited for it — at a minimum."
The dog's owner was presented with a citation that included a $108 fine. If she decides to contest the citation, however, the fine can cost her as much as $500 if a judge sees fit.
In its Facebook post, the department also provided a tip to the community concerning their pets and the heat.
"Stop being lazy (harsh, yes, but true). Bring your pet home and then go back out to run whatever errands you need to do," it said.
Diamond posted the dog's liberation on her Facebook page as well.
“Someone put me in the right place at the right time. Omg!" she said in her post.
Diamond told InsideEdition.com that she believes the owner did not mean any harm, but she just made a poor decision.
"I cant imagine how long the dog could have been in the car before we got there," she said.
Florida is one of 11 states that allow citizens to legally break into hot cars to save an animal or a child as part of a "good Samaritan" law, while 20 states allow only law enforcement to make the rescue, according to the Animal Legal Defense Fund.
"If we can just educate people, we're going to save a lot of animals from distressing and dying and the owners from experiencing the grief and guilt." Roerich said.